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Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy?

02/12/2011

“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature.”   Mata Amritanandamayi

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? Amma’s motherly hug helps…

Can a hug make you happy? When was the last time you got a heart-warming, comforting bear hug?  Something we all deserve, and even need for our survival is a soothing, healing touch. I remember reading an article, years ago, about babies in an Eastern European orphanage who thrived when they were touched and didn’t when they were not. It is little wonder that children cherish their mother’s loving touch, and that millions of people have traveled far and wide to receive the loving, healing hugs of Mata Amritanandamayi; affectionately called Amma and known as the hugging saint. Amma travels the world, sharing her spiritual teachings and dispensing warm and tender hugs to people who come to meet her.  As Amma explains it, her public hugs began when “People used to come and tell [me] their troubles. They would cry and I would wipe their tears. When they fell weeping into my lap, I used to hug them. Then the next person too wanted it… And so the habit picked up.” Today, she gives them liberally at public programs in the USA and worldwide. I can vouch that Amma’s hugs are as loving as they are comforting. When we feel love, our happiness bubbles up and we share same with others.

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”  Bil Keane

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? A happy hug is golden…

The key quality of a great hug is that both the giver and the receiver feel a mutual connection and that the hug is given freely without ulterior motives. As I prepared this post, I was reminded that for those who are survivors of molestation, all hugs are not created equal and, therefore, it is important to note the difference. So an important point about happy hugging is that it is not only about how you deliver them, but also about how you receive them. A safe, loving hug can be a joyful healing experience and that is the type that adds to our happiness.  We recognize the difference by how it makes us feel. More below. 😉

“Men greet each other with a sock on the arm, women with a hug, and the hug wears better in the long run.”  Edward Hoagland

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? Hugs are healing…

When we hug another soul with love and joy, for that brief moment, we receive and connect with the other person completely.  As Charlotte Charles from the show Pushing Daisies suggests: “Hugs are like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety come shooting out of your mouth in a big wet wad and you can breath again.” Can a hug make you happy? Sure, it can!  Have you hugged someone today?  What are your thoughts? Can a hug make you happy? Do you like to get hugs? When was the last time you got a hug? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from SoulPancake: Almost, Not Quite Right: Can a Hug Make You Happy?

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip: A hug can heal our hurts and calm our nerves. Hug freely but wisely.

More Wellness Boosters/Affirmations & Resources

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Amma Hug, Gold hug, HugMe, via Wikipedia. Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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61 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/12/2011 8:09 pm

    A hug is more than just a hug..it is a tug where souls are shared! I love them..I do them!

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:13 am

      I love hugs too… especially when they are genuinely shared. Loving hugs are soul food and healing. (((((Chris)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  2. 02/12/2011 8:12 pm

    I love hugging and being hugged….soooooooo wonderful.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:14 am

      Same here… Nothings beats a warm embrace between loved ones… Speaks volumes; more than words. (((((Pocket P)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  3. 02/12/2011 10:13 pm

    Nothing beats a good hug!

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:14 am

      I agree Barb and here’s one for you too. (((((Barb)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  4. 02/12/2011 10:16 pm

    Hug is Love , 🙂

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:15 am

      Yes, it is love and health and happiness and more… (((((Jake)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  5. 02/12/2011 10:58 pm

    I feel I needed a hug now. I tweet a lot and Twitter friends send (((hugs))) but its not physical. I live alone and the one thing I miss is the spontaneous hug. My ex husband is dying so I get sympathy hugs from friends and work colleagues at the moment. When I see my daughters we have mother/daughter hugs but I don’t get to see my girls very often as they live a distance away. Lots of different types of hugs all make me feel better. Lovely thought provoking post.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:07 am

      Sending you more virtual/cyber hugs Ronnie… (((((Ronnie)))) Hug! 😉
      I know they’re not quite the same as a real live hug, but I hope you feel our hugs coming your way… Hugs are wonderfully healing and they do reassure us that we are fully alive and connected. 🙂 TY!

      Like

  6. 02/12/2011 11:12 pm

    A hug can certainly make me happy 🙂 Nice post Liz.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:16 am

      It does put a big smile on my face and every time I get or give a hug, I feel blessed and healed… (((((Walter)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  7. 02/12/2011 11:38 pm

    I love hugs, and as you say both the giver and the receiver must be equally invested in the hug. I had many of these experiences today when i spoke at a March of Dimes event to introduce my Pediatricians for an award. The whole day was filled with genuine warmth filled hugs and it can be transformative. Giving energy and peace where it may not have been before. Thanks for writing about this Liz, as always you are spot on!

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:09 am

      TY Shannon,
      Hugs can be transformative and help shift our mood. (((((Shannon)))) Hug! ;-)Sounds like a productive uplifting event you had today… 😉

      Like

  8. 03/12/2011 12:10 am

    I love hugs! Great post again Eliz. Here’s a hug from me 😉

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:18 am

      I love hugs too and TY for sharing yours with me today. Here’s one for you too. (((((Lian)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  9. 03/12/2011 2:19 am

    Definitely! But also uncomfortable, depending on who’s giving it.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:19 am

      Right… We can tell a forced hug from a loving one. I think when we open our hearts and share a hug joyfully, and the other party is receptive, it is blissful.(((((Tilly)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  10. 03/12/2011 3:06 am

    I agree with you. All of us need hugs even adults.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:21 am

      Yes, there is no age limit on hugging. Everyone needs a loving hug. (((((Cocomino)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  11. 03/12/2011 6:13 am

    Great post and completely true – according to scientist Paul Zak hugs cause our brains to release oxytocin which helps to create bonds between us – amongst other things – you might be interested in this – creatingreciprocity.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:23 am

      TY for adding your link on the subject, I will add it to the post. I do believe that hugging has healing, bonding properties too and much has been noted on the subject. we should all hug more… that is why many cultures use it as a form of welcome. TY! (((((CreatingR)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  12. 03/12/2011 6:25 am

    {{hugs}}

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:24 am

      TY Nancy for your virtual/cyber hug. I love them too. 🙂 Here’s mine to you.
      (((((Nancy)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  13. 03/12/2011 6:25 am

    I love this post…
    Every day I will get very warm hugs from my husband and my sons 🙂
    Whenever my sons quarrel, they will say sorry and will hug each other too 😉
    I agree that hugs are very important 🙂

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:25 am

      Beautiful… You are truly blessed. Hugs are definitely important. Here’s another one for you. (((((Yulia)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  14. 03/12/2011 7:34 am

    I’m a huge fan of hugs!

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:26 am

      Me too and I love the sensation of heart touching heart… Here’s one for you. 🙂
      (((((Natalie)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  15. 03/12/2011 8:28 am

    I read an article where a compassionate hug or even a simple tender touch can help a person heal faster.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 10:11 am

      I agree and believe they work as we find that when people in great pain are hugged, they feel some calm again. Here’s one for you (((((Fergiemoto)))) Hug! 😉
      TY! 🙂

      Like

  16. 03/12/2011 11:06 am

    Love it! Here’s to more hugs! 🙂

    Like

  17. 03/12/2011 1:21 pm

    I am a huge hugger. I hug everyone. The ones I know that hate to be hugged I ask first. They answer with a resounding NO. I keep asking and asking until overtime I wear them down. Then I only hug them for a split second. I don’t want to ruin it. Here is my ((hug)) to you.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 11:54 pm

      That was a riot… You ask till you wear them down! 😆 I love hugs too and would love to see more of us do it. It is quite common in some cultures but not here in the USA. Here is one for you ! (((((Life is…)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  18. 03/12/2011 1:29 pm

    Hugs and cuddles are very important in my view. Especially children. Hugs make us feel safe. Or they make me feel safe.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 11:55 pm

      Yes and that is why the source matters too. I love hugs and when I get them from a loving person, it is quite healing…TY! (((((Robyn)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  19. 03/12/2011 3:45 pm

    Hugs are really important. When I saw this woman on television I really envied the people she hugged. I wanted one, too. They said they had a really good feeling from her hugs… In Jamaica we are quite into hugs, and some of my favorite people have the greatest hugs… I just wait to claim them. I like a really TIGHT hug, though. Preferably from a big man. 🙂

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 11:58 pm

      Oh you are funny!!! I send you blessings for such a big man hug. 😉 Yes, Amma’s hugs are soothing and healing… and one has to experience it to truly understand and appreciate it. (((((Petchary)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  20. 03/12/2011 4:24 pm

    This was such a feel-good post–like a big hug! In my classes we often have group hugs–even the very shy kids will sidle up and throw their arms around someone.

    Like

    • 03/12/2011 11:59 pm

      WoW! What an amazing thing… Your students must appreciate the way you encourage them to connect with each other from the heart… beautiful. (((((PetalPusher)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  21. 03/12/2011 4:30 pm

    Hugs are so important: our family does not give them or like to get them, it’s what I call “A THING.” I am the opposite: I LOVE TO GIVE AND Get them…but right now I am sending YOU Eliz, a virtual hug…my favorite thing to do today for you.

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 12:01 am

      Hugs are really important and yes, some people don’t feel comfortable getting them… we respect their request and move forward. TY for your hug and here’s mine for you. 🙂 (((((Jackie)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  22. 03/12/2011 5:39 pm

    Love, love giving and getting hugs. Got one today from someone I’d just met — we’ve “known” each other only via the emails we’ve been exchanging for a little over a year.
    As I read, I thought about a young cousin of mine who stiffens whenever you approach to hug her, and she’s never been abused. We haven’t figured out why she doesn’t like being touched but every now and then, I tell her I need a hug from her. She usually smiles and complies.

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 12:04 am

      Interesting with your cousin’s discomfort with hugging. I suppose some people just don’t feel comfortable with others being that close to their psychic space. And for such individuals, it is extremely important to ask first. TY!
      (((((Marcia)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  23. 03/12/2011 6:12 pm

    working in ministry gives me ample opportunity to give and recieve my fair share of hugs…the right kind of hugs are comforting to the soul.

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 12:05 am

      Indeed they are comforting to the soul… I can imagine you and the hugs you get…. you work in that environment. 🙂 Here’s my virtual hug/cyber hug for you.
      (((((Jeanne)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  24. 04/12/2011 3:52 am

    Hugs should be included in our daily nutritional requirements for healthy living. The late Dr.Leo Buscaglia, (THE “HUG” DOCTOR) was a champion of the value of the hug and there is a whole campaign for giving free hugs. Here’s a free hug video shot in Brooklyn – http://youtu.be/_Vc0LrkmeWc

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 6:10 pm

      Yes, I read Dr/ Leo’s work in college and a big fan even after he passed away. Hugs are healing and I bet they’d make our nutritional levels better. 🙂
      (((((A Tree grows…)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  25. 04/12/2011 5:48 am

    calm our nerves – at least for a moment, yes;
    how long?
    for an hour, a week, a year?
    what was the hug
    longest away which we can remember?

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 6:11 pm

      Yes, even a hug for a moment is a good thing… The memory stays long after a warm hug. What matters is that we felt the love communicated. 😉 Here’s one for you. (((((Frizztext)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  26. 04/12/2011 1:39 pm

    I so love this post, and yes a hug can make you happy. I don’t know how many I got yesterday when I was at my grandmother funeral. Without them I don’t think I coulda made it through the ordeal. I have always bn hugging person. God Bless U:)

    Like

    • 04/12/2011 6:13 pm

      God bless you too … and my condolences over your Grandma’s passing. I’m sure the hugs made a huge difference as they are truly one of he best ways to comfort others… 🙂 Here’s another one for you. (((((Poeticjourney)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  27. 05/12/2011 8:37 am

    If one is open to a hug, it can make a huge difference in how one feels. NO ONE has too much loved and affection expressed to them.

    Like

    • 06/12/2011 8:17 pm

      Yes, we can all benefit from loving hugs… if we are open to it. Some people don’t like hugs though… and that’s fine too. 😉
      Here’s one for you: (((((James)))) Hug! 😉

      Like

  28. 12/07/2015 7:20 am

    Reblogged this on Mirth and Motivation and commented:

    “The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.” Mata Amritanandamayi, (The Hugging Saint)
    Give Someone a Hug Today: We all need a loving touch and each of us reflect the same sun. In NYC, from this Sunday through Tuesday, Amma will be at The Javits Center, dispensing her special brand of hugging love. Go get a hug and give a hug
    If, as per our WordPress Daily Prompts, I could honor a person today, it would be Amma for love wisdom and humanitarian efforts. Have a great week ahead everyone!

    Like

  29. Harbans permalink
    12/07/2015 7:49 am

    Yes a huge hug with emotional tinge makes huge huge difference,

    Like

  30. 12/07/2015 12:45 pm

    Hugs are good to give and receive, hugs to you Eliz.

    Like

  31. Maria Teresa Figuerres permalink
    12/07/2015 6:18 pm

    Definitely, a hug can make me happy, especially a warm one coming from my sweet 9-year-old son. He also expects a tight hug from me every single day. Hugs, kisses and I love you’s complete our day.

    Like

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